SAN DIEGO – As a deadly fungal infection spreads at an alarming rate per the CDC, San Diego hospitals say it’s not the case locally, but they are on high alert.
One of them being Rady Children’s Hospital, who gathered media Wednesday to help quell fears regarding the quick spread of the infection otherwise known as Candida Auris, or C. Auris. While not an issue in San Diego, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases Dr. John Bradley said it’s only a matter of time before the infection makes its way to the area.
“It’s a word of caution to all the hospitals in the United States that this particular Candida strain is spreading, and it’s spreading faster than the CDC had expected,” Dr. Bradley shared.
The motive Wednesday was primarily centered around initiating a warning while also reassuring the community amid high tension throughout the U.S.
“People in San Diego, who are reasonably healthy, don’t have to worry about this. If someone in your family has cancer and is being treated, this is something that family member can bring up with their doctor,” Dr. Bradley said.
The big questions circulating: What is it and who does it target? According to the CDC, it’s a form of a yeast infection, or a so-called “Super Bug,” characterized by its resistance to medications. Those infected, commonly show these symptoms: “…either a red sore patch in your mouth or in your intestine, or if it invades, a fever. If the Candida should settle in one of your organs like the lung, then you’ll start coughing,” Dr. Bradley explained.
The fungus is mainly a concern for immunocompromised patients stemming from children to seniors.
“If you’re an immune compromised host, once it enters it could really cause infection. For healthy people, the regular Candida Albicans that causes thrush is not a real concern and the same goes for Candida Auris,” Dr. Bradley said.
The CDC is calling the fungus an “urgent threat” while noting its resistance to medications, but according to Dr. Bradley, it’s both preventable and treatable.
“I want to reassure everyone that this isn’t a situation where we have nothing, we have more powerful therapy, but its one that we usually hold in reserve and don’t start out with treatment,” Dr. Bradley said.